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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


April 22nd, 2019

Few are unfamiliar with the inconvenient phenomenon that occurs when we have a large interval of time to get something done.  Given just a few minutes, we may rush, and hurry, but ultimately we don’t feel too bad when we look at how little or how much we were able to accomplish.


“I only had a few minutes to do it, I don’t think it’s too bad considering.”


But give a few months for the project, or worse, a few years, and how much does our activity and thinking and attack of such a problem change?  Not only do we feel that there’s plenty of time to get it done, but our abilities from moment to moment are of a far different tenor than when we feel the crunch of time during some unexpected last-minute deadline, or even an emergency.


Few are unfamiliar with pulling an all-nighter – compressing the work of an assignment that was allotted several weeks of work into several tired frenzied hours.  What’s even more curious about the all-nighter is that we ultimately become far more productive with less energy, being increasingly sleep-deprived throughout the process.


We can even view the establishment of institutions as a way for certain work to expand.  For example there are institutions dedicated to solutions for different diseases.  We might wonder how such institutions would react if such bodies of investigation were given only a final year of action in order to accomplish the goal of eradicating such a disease?  Would business continue as usual or would the final time compression change anything about how all the people associated and supported by such an institution go about their goals?


We need not wonder about such a hypothetical cage on such a large institution.  We can play this game with ourselves. 


For example, we can all think of instances when a few minutes dangle useless before something happens. 


Oh I only have 10 minutes before work.  That’s not enough time to start something new.  As though the ‘starting’ of some new problem or goal requires a butter knife applied to a chunk of time, to spread out and settle into.  We can perhaps wonder instead: how much can I get done in just ten minutes?  What if I challenge myself? 


It’s interesting to watch how one’s thinking changes when pushed into a sprint.


Just as this mind was,


having been given just 10 minutes to write this episode.


What might you accomplish if you sprint during those odd patches of time that pepper the day, the week and the year?

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 372: The Expansion of Work

Tinkered Thinking

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